By: Hajah Imilia Ibrahim and Sabariah Abd Samad, PPM Kumpulan Sarawak
In conjunction with the National Librarian’s Day on 6th June 2020, the Sarawak Chapter of the Librarians’ Association of Malaysia together with the Sarawak State Library organised the Fourth Sarawak Librarian Colloquium. Although the Colloquium was the fourth in the series, it was the first online Colloquium that gathered speakers from all over the state of Sarawak and audience from all over the nation.
With the theme Librarian. Connect. Community (LCC), the Colloquium managed to have four paper presentations as well as four poster presentations from librarians and lecturers from the Sarawak State Library (Kuching and Miri), Universiti Teknologi MARA, Institute of Teacher Education and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak. The Forum session involved librarians from Curtin University Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA and Sarawak State Library.
- Empowering through Librarying (Hajah Imilia Ibrahim and Sabariah Abd Samad) – The paper discussed the role of libraries before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. There are suggestions on how to approach the community and what kind of support and services that the library could give to their patrons to ensure their information needs are being fulfilled.
- Modest Learning Skills Concluded Immense Effect (Suria Sonia Ahip, Abdul Aziz Bujang and Mohd. Khadzrie Bin Mohd. Ramzie Faizal) – The paper proposed a learning approach through a local cultural and heritage competition where the participants are guided through a series of modules in information literacy and information management.
- Making Days of Olds, Present and Future (Muhammad Annwar bin Adenan) – The paper discussed oral history initiatives by Pustaka Negeri Sarawak (Miri) where indigenous communities were approached and their indigenous knowledge were captured through events and cultural events.
- Do you like your library? (Philomena Septimus Amit, Nur Afeqah Abdullah, Norazlina Abdul Rahman and Wan Mazli bin Wan Razali) – This paper is a presentation based on a social survey of users in three academic libraries in Kuching. The paper discussed users’ perceptions towards their libraries and finding ways to attract users to utilize their library collections and services.
- Creating A Reading Culture Ecosystem: The Reading Seeds Program (Edison Ricket) – The poster exhibits Pustaka Negeri Sarawak’s effort in encouraging and suppporting reading habits inculturation among the community by exposing pregnant mothers and newborn babies to the habit of reading.
- Digital Inclusivity for Community Well-Being (Edison Ricket) – The poster highlighted the PANDEI program initiated by Pustaka Negeri Sarawak where they reach out to the local community and teach them how to utilise the Internet.
- 1File 1Week Campaign Poster (Norlailawaty Ismail) – As records management is crucial for the state government of Sarawak, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak as the depository center promotes the 1 File 1 Week campaign. The campaign is meant to promote and create awareness among the state government departments on how to properly handle their files and records and the procedures that they need to follow to deposit their files and records to the State Record Repository.
- Le Tour De Park, Educational Park Tour at Taman Pustaka (Siti Khairunnisa Rosli and Nurfatini Apandi) – Besides having a comprehensive collections of information materials, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak is also known for its beautiful park. The poster highlighted the ‘Le Tour De Park’ program by Pustaka Negeri Sarawak where patrons can apply for a guided tour through the Library’s park.
With the theme “Librarian. Connect. Community (LCC)” the Forum discussed the role and challenges of Sarawak librarians in reaching out to their patrons and the community around them prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of that, the panel members also shared their plans for the future of their libraries and ideas on how librarians can be relevant once the MCO is lifted. The forum was moderated by Puan Hajah Imilia Ibrahim of UiTM Sarawak and the panel members were:
- Mac Earldon Mike anak Maxwell, Head of Library & Learning Commons, Curtin University (Malaysia), Miri.
- Puspa Diana Jawi, Division Head, ICT Infrastructure, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak.
- Nur Afeqah Abdullah, Librarian, PTAR, UiTM Samarahan Campus.
Even though the Colloquium coincided with another program by the Librarians’ Association of Malaysia, we managed to receive a good number of audiences especially from Borneo and once other program finished, we were joined by more librarians from all over Malaysia. The organising committee is grateful to have the Chief Executive Officer of Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, Dr. Rashidah Bolhassan to open and close the event.
The participation among the audience and especially the speakers showed that there a lot can be done by the information agencies as well as information professionals in Sarawak to enhance the information services given as well as to empower the community. And it is hoped that there will be more platforms like this Colloquium to allow better knowledge sharing among the information professionals in the state as well as with others around the world. For those who missed the event, you can still watch the Colloquium through the Sarawak State Library Youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYivpR7cg_k